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Podcast Episode 103: Drunk Reindeer, Severed Heads And Christmas Smackdown

Cinema Junkie serves up a sick and twisted holiday show

Mark Nutter and Cynthia Carle performed their annual

Credit: Jeff Alderman

Above: Mark Nutter and Cynthia Carle performed their annual "Christmas Smackdown" at Hallenbeck's in Los Angeles on Dec. 10, 2016. The musical revue serves up "all of your most cherished holiday sentiments pinned down to the mat in an Argentine death choke."

Episode 103: Drunk Reindeer, Severed Heads And Christmas Smackdown

Cinema Junkie's sick and twisted holiday show features Mark Nutter and Cynthia Carle, the creators of "Cristmas Smackdown," a show that serves up "all of your most cherished holiday sentiments pinned down to the mat in an Argentine death choke."

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Warning: What follows pushes the boundaries of good taste to the breaking point... and beyond.

I am a longtime fan of Mark Nutter and Cynthia Carle and their annual "Christmas Smackdown" Show and just wanted to highlight this interview from 2016 when I went up to L.A. to see the show at the Cahuenga General Store and talk to the mad creators.

The 2019 version of the show is currently running and you can get tickets here.

I am straying off the cinema path for this podcast because my two guests are so deliciously depraved that I could not resist ending the year with their annual "Christmas Smackdown" show.

I was introduced to the work of Mark Nutter and Cynthia Carle when I covered "Re-Animator the Musical" for NPR back in 2011.

Nutter worked with Stuart Gordon to create a musical stage version of Gordon’s 1985 splatter fest movie "Re-Animator" (there, that’s the slim film connection for this episode) and Carle was in the cast. I fell in love with the musical and with their work. Check out Cinema Junkie podcast 41 for my love letter to "Re-Animator the Musical."

Then I heard that they do something called "Christmas Smackdown" that was "all of your most cherished holiday sentiments pinned down to the mat in an Argentine death choke." Needless to say I had to see it. But this was the first year I could actually make it up to Los Angeles to see the show.

It was all that I could have hoped for and more. It went beyond irreverent and into the realm of bad taste ... but bad taste of the most delectable kind. Here's a sample, a song called "Angels."

Cynthia Carle: Angels

In the podcast, you can also hear cheery Christmas songs about severed heads, cannibalism, suicide and a drunk reindeer with a thing for Santa.

And here is the video we reference in the podcast of Nutter's song "The Baby Shredder," which is most definitely sick and twisted. You have been warned again!

Mark Nutter: The Baby Shredder Song

"Christmas Smackdown" was produced by Christopher Reed. In addition to Nutter and Carle, the performers included: Djuna Copley-Woods, Brian Gillespie, Lyndsay Nicole Hailey, Liesel Hanson, Christina "X" Sheldon, Graham Skipper, and Joseph of Windows to Sky. (Gillespie, Hanson and Skipper are all alums of "Re-Animator the Musical.")

Please note that Cinema Junkie will be taking a brief vacation and will return in January. Thanks for listening throughout the year. If you are in the holiday giving spirit, consider donating to this listener-supported podcast at or for a cheaper but no less appreciated option go to iTunes and leave a review.


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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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